Jane Austen and Colonel Brandon

My username is taken from a character in "Sense and Sensibility" by Jane Austen. I myself am not a military man at all. My avatar photo is simply some 19th century British officer, who looks the way I envision Austen's character. (I certainly do not picture him the way he appears in the movie with Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet.)

So why did I choose this name?

A while ago I formed a close friendship with a woman online. She and I are each married, and while we each tried to respect the other's marriage, we really did get emotionally closer than we should have. We saw ourselves as having a love that was more than platonic friendship and yet not erotic. I came up with the phrase "passionate friendship", where "passionate" refers to the emotional intensity, not to anything sexual.

In retrospect, I now recognize what we had as an "emotional affair." It was wrong, but it seemed beautiful at the time.

This woman struggled with some emotional issues, and at times she would disappear for a prolonged period of time, during which she was involved in online activities that made her ashamed to face me. She would keep asking me not to give up on her, and I never did. One day, she asked "Would you be my Colonel Brandon?"

I told her that I had no idea who that was. So she told me about "Sense and Sensibility", which I soon bought and read. In the book, Colonel Brandon is in love with Marianne, but she is pursuing other loves. He waits. He does whatever he can, throughout the book, to be helpful to her, and eventually she comes around to recognizing that he loves her, and she marries him.

My friend did not want me to marry her, but she was asking me to wait patiently, to have faith that regardless of her absences, that she would return to me. And I did wait, and she did return, and all was well.

But eventually she realized that the other things she was doing online were threatening her marriage. She went into counselling, she resolved to end those activities, and soon she resolved to end all her online connections, including with me.

That was very painful for me, but I understand why she did it.

This all happened shortly after EP came to an end. I found this site, and I took this name, because I will still wait, in case she ever comes back. I will not try to pursue the type of emotional affair that we had, but if she ever wants to be just friends, I will welcome it.

I do not think it will happen. But she will always have a place in  my heart, and this profile name is a way to honor her.



    • Colonel Brandon

      By Colonel Brandon

      Update: In December 2017 I received a message from her. We had a good conversation about what happened and why she stayed away for so long, and all is well again :)